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Sleepaway School: Stories from a Boy's Life

reviewed by Jeffrey L. Lewis - 2006

coverTitle: Sleepaway School: Stories from a Boy's Life
Author(s): Lee Stringer
Publisher: Seven Stories Press, New York
ISBN: 1583224785, Pages: 227, Year: 2004
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In many ways, Lee Stringer’s memoir Sleepaway School is about what it means to be an African American child living in the contradictory space that often exists between African Americans and whites. With evocative detail, Stringer crafts a nuanced story about the ambiguity of living between survival and resistance—a struggle as common to today’s poor urban African American as it was for Black children in the days of his childhood in the 1950s and 1960s. Through Stringer’s eyes, we discover what it means to live on the edge of white imagination and ignorance, and to be at the mercy of it. However, Stringer’s story is also about the creative potential of this space, and how we can occasionally transform it from a space of hostility and ignorance, to one of friendship and understanding. Sleepaway School primarily takes place at Hawthorne Cedar Knolls, a school for troubled children in a largely white... (preview truncated at 150 words.)

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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 108 Number 1, 2006, p. 36-39
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 11897, Date Accessed: 7/30/2021 10:10:45 PM

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About the Author
  • Jeffrey L. Lewis
    University of Wisconsin-Madison
    E-mail Author
    JEFFREY L. LEWIS is an assistant professor of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He studies the cultural contexts of childhood and the impact of culture on children’s developmental pathways. His current research examines the social ecology of learning for African American boys, and the development of their academic and social identities. His most recent publication is “Black talk about AIDS,” soon to be published in the Journal of African American Studies. He is currently conducting an analysis of classroom data to identify characteristics of classroom climate, and instructional and disciplinary interactions that support constructive social and academic behaviors in African American boys.
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